Baldur's Gate 3 designer totally gets it if you were overwhelmed by the shift to the game's 3rd act, and don't worry: it'll be 'less drastic' in future games

Astarion, a silver-haired vampire from Baldur's Gate 3, places a hand on his chest and pouts.
(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Can I make a confession? It took me about a month to get through the third act of Baldur's Gate 3. Not because it was particularly challenging or—relative to the acts that preceded it—especially long, but because the second I arrived in Rivington I felt compelled to put the game down and go do something else for a while.

I guess I wasn't alone in that feeling. In a recent chat with Gamereactor, Larian senior RPG designer Anna Guxens was asked about BG3's third act, and specifically how she felt it could be improved either now or in future games from the studio.

"Act 2 specifically has a very strong closing moment that just shuts down a whole area [of the game]," said Guxens, which means that "starting off in act 3, especially if you have so many hours running in the rest of the game, can feel like a much different tone and very drastically changing."

Sounds about right. BG3's second act ends strong, with a dramatic climax and a resolution (if you play your cards right) to a threat that's been lurking ever since you plummeted from the nautiloid at the game's start. Arriving in Rivington with a full third of the game to go, surrounded by totally new NPCs and budding storylines, can feel like a sudden shift in gears. Or at least it did for me, which is why I toddled off to cleanse my palate with Hitman's freelancer mode for a few weeks before I returned to finish up.

At least Guxens doesn't hold it against me, saying "I think it's valid… I understand how this shift is something that's challenging to overcome especially," and adding that "it's something [Larian] would be mindful of moving forward as well, of just seeing how we handle this tone shift so that things are less drastic."

Suits me. Once I sunk my teeth into BG3's third act I had a great time in it, but it definitely needed a period of acclimatisation on my part. If Larian's next game manages to keep me glued in my seat for its full alarmingly long timespan, well, hey, perhaps it can earn PCG's next dizzyingly high review score.

And if you're wondering what that next game is, better keep your eye on studio CEO Swen Vincke, who was out and about recently teasing the Earth with news that he's cracked the first act on Larian's next game, but he's not going to tell us what that is except that it's not what we think. Oh Swen, you tease. 


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Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.